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    Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    Guys, there's a whole load of companies each making 15-30 products that they each recommend. Can somebody here kindly help a bewildered guy understand (1) how he should clean his car so that it is immaculate, and (2) which items are needed for the job. Honestly, I won't be offended if you explain it really simply - what I need is a step-by-step idi*t's guide to this! I especially want to avoid any swirl marks developing. Thanks

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    i'm sure everyone will have their secrets that work. so perhaps based on all the input you can develop a plan....a couple of my thoughts that have worked well for me on several dark colored cars that remained swirl free are... i always clean the wheels an inner fenders first using totally seperate gear... i've used zymol car wash for a couple of years am pleased with the washing the body i use a griot's garage horsehair brush in straight passes after getting every thing wet then lots of soapy water, never in the sun or wind... i dry everything in straight passes with microfiber towels.... which i toss rather than wash if they get dirty in the process....microfiber towel on the glass with water ... lint roller from the drycleaners to pick up small carpet ditrius... i'm also using the zymol wax formulated for porsches..... works for me... hope this is a little helpful.

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    I've seen loads and loads of threads on this topic covered in huge detail so first off I'd suggest doing some searches on this board.

    Personally I don't go too over-board cleaning my car given it gets dirty straight away as soon as you go anywhere in the UK. I'm sure some guys on the site will flame me on some of the below for not being OCD enough but each to their own...

    I do have a great jet-washer (adjustable power and water can be mixed with shampoo at the same time) which I can't currently use because of the damn drought hosepipe ban here (which is perfect for getting at hard to reach places such as wheel arches etc). So right now I just:

    1) Put the spoiler up for better access in that area.
    2) Rinse everywhere with water
    3) Bucket and sponge with Zymol shampoo (can get pretty cheap from Halfords) the body and the wheels. I have a 'Muckoff' wheel cleaning kit which is really good but I rarely use the wheel wax (see reason from #7 below) unless a special occasion or I have a lot of time on my hands.
    4) Rinse everywhere thoroughly off with clean water
    5) Dry body with micro-towels (I use a water blade on my other cars but this can cause scratches so I would advise against it on your pride and joy!). Other guys on this site I believe use things like leaf-blowers to dry their cars. But what with the hard-water I have in this area if I followed suit I'd have some nasty water marks as a result. Micro-towels are great IMHO. Oh and be sure to mop up the pools of water that collect in the wing mirrors and at the bottom of the rear light housings.
    6) Apply layer of Zymol Wax (about Pounds18 for a bottle from Halfords) all over bodywork, working into the paint a section at a time using a hand pad. I tend to avoid waxing near the rear wheel arch protection film as if I do then I just get a white residue line all the way around the protective plastic. And on a black car that doesn't look so good!
    7) Polish off dried wax with some polishing towels
    8) Take the car out for a 5 min spin to squeeze out the brakes (they will barely work at all to start with if you have gotten any water in them). Never forget this step!!
    9) When you get back, clean off brake dust 'gunk' that comes out all over your previously clean wheels.
    10) About once a month I also use some chrome polish on my PSE tips
    11) Quickly put back in the garage before the elements descend!

    Whole thing takes between 1-2 hours.

    Every 6 months I also have the car done with a complete Porsche Zymol kit, but that costs PoundsPoundsPounds. A good layer of wax I've found certainly does keeps the car cleaner for much longer periods though.

    I am waiting for the hosepipe ban to be lifted so I can power clean my soft-top and underside of the car with the pressure washer. I will also then apply some Scotchguard to my soft-top.

    Also, when you next go into your OPC ask for the Service dept to get you a (matching) paint touch-up kit (about Pounds8). This is great for getting rid of minor stone chips which you invariably pick up on the front of the car.

    Hope that helps a little

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    This site has been one of the top sites I have seen around as far as learning proper detailing techniques for keeping your car swirl mark free and making the paint last for as long as you own the car. It is highly recommended by the "anal detail freaks" over at Rennlist who talk about this subject daily it seems(where I learned my stuff).

    I have purchased my gear from both Autopia and Griots Garage

    (Not affiliated with any of these boards or products just only my personal experiences)
    I had a bunch of stuff typed out here detailing my washing, drying and paint protection process but I deleted it and instead just highly recommend reading the Autopia "Guide to Detailing" website.

    Just some products I have been extremely happy with that weren't outrageous in price or had some kind of special aura about them and have provided me with results which brought many compliments from people in the community:

    Griots Wheel Spray
    Pure lamb/Sheepskin wash mitt
    P21S carnuba wax hand applied
    Klasse All-in-One Sealant
    Griots Speed Shine
    Microfiber towels from Autopia (waffle weave drying towel, polish towel and buffing towels)
    Griots Vinyl and Rubber dressing (for anything other than leather! Satin finish without that messy gloss)
    And if you have a Cab. then the "only" product recommended by many and said to be the same stuff used by the company that makes the soft tops is Raggtop:
    That's all i can think of. Hope this will help you out as well...

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    BTW - I got my Porsche Zymol kit when I bought my car but should you feel like getting a kit other than from a rip-off-OPC, then somewhere like this would save you a few hundred quid:

    ...and just apply it yourself

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    For the full effect valeters will probably give you the following procedure if using Swissol products. Zymol is just as good but don't know the product as well.

    1. Hose the car down and start with the wheels first. Apply VIROSOL and leave for 5 minutes. Power wash off before it dries. THis will get all but some stubborn brake dust deposits off.
    2. Wash the car using Swissol Car Bath and Swissol wash cloth (Warm water, not HOT). I use the two bucket method. One with the Car bath in and the other to rinse the cloth/mit. This way it keeps the water nice and clean throughout the wash and you don't end up rubbing dirt back in. I don't use sponges as they hold dirt.
    3. Rinse off with clean water. (might consider one of those de-ionisers if you have hard water)
    4. Dry with a clean dry Swissol Cloth or a large bath towel made of pure cotton. Or indeed a synthetic Chamois. Auto Glym do a good one just make sure you soak it in water over night before use.

    5. Place Paint Rubber in warm water for a few minutes (Clay bar)
    6. Spray Quick Finish onto the surface and pressing lightly use the paint rubber. Rubbing in the direction of air flow over the car. (Use wet fingers to feel the paintwork it should be silky smooth). Using Quick finish is convenient but expensive. You can use water with some car bath mixed in with it.
    7. Apply cleaner fluid liberally with even back and forth motion. (Not Circular) over an area of 1m2.
    8. Remove cleaner fluid (Don't let it Dry). The paintwork will be squeeky clean and have a polished look about it. You shouldn't leave this finish open to the elements as there is no protection.
    9. The best bit. Now apply Swissol Wax.
    10. I've started using something called "AUTOBAHN". It is a teflon based wax for alloy wheels. When used with VIROSOL it's so easy to keep the wheels clean.

    Obviously you need to consider ways of keeping the wheels looking clean, the trim from looking drab and the interior smelling like the day you drove it out of the dealer. Swissol offer plenty of products to do this and I can advise on most of them. A swissol detailer (hate that word) gave me some great tips. I'll see if I can hunt them out for you. It provides loads of other ways to get the same effects without spending too much on Swissol/Zymol.

    There are a number of wax's recommended for different cars.

    ONYX. Standard wax for all colours. (30% pure Brazilian Carnauba wax)
    NITRO. For Nitro paints to prevent chalking after washing.
    SAMURAI. For Post 1988 Japanese Vehicles.
    SAPHIR. Much higher concentration of Carnauba wax for modern water based paints. (Good for Met. Silvers)
    SCUDERIA. For Italian vehicles. Alfa, Fiat, Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia etc.
    356. Synthetic Resin Paints
    911. Wonder what this one is for. For two component coatings on Modern Porsche vehicles.
    CONCORSO (AKA "BEST of SHOW"). 48% Pure Brazilian Carnauba Wax. Shine you get with prize winning classics. This is the one I love and use as on dark colours it leaves an almost wet look finish.
    MYSTERY. 55% Pure Brazilian Carnauba Wax. Never seen this one but supposed to be the best as it was developed for the founder of Swissol I think.

    Any other questions I'll try to help, but I have to say once your car has been treated you will not believe how easy it is to clean afterwards.

    Apply wax twice a year.

    Swissol do a handbook and you can download it HERE . This may give you some pointers.

    Hope that gets you started.

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    First general points on washing 1) avoid wiping the car with anything that may have dirt trapped in it 2)always start with the least aggreesive product when cleaning 3)keep towels seperate for cleaning and wash them seperately.(eg towels for waxing are seperate from towels for window cleaning)

    I start by washing the wheels and tires with soap and water. I stay away from wheels cleaners again less is better. Note waxing the wheels with carnuaba based wax helps keep them clean. I use groits rubber and vinyl cleaner for tire dressing

    Start with washing the car from the top down and rinse the washing mitt frequently especially when washing the bottom of the car. I use a microfiber mitt from car care specialists. I previously used boar hair brush but thought it may have been responsible for some linear scratches. Most car wash soaps are fine, I use groits it smells great. When done I take the nossle off the hose and rinse the car with free flowing water from the hose. You will be amazed at how little you will have to dry the car with this technique.

    I dry the car by first using a dedicated leaf blower fitted with panty hose on the intake to filter any dirt particles in the air. This is done to get rid of excess water on the car and to blow out areas that collect water but not used to completely dry the car. When the car has a good coat of wax most of the water runs right off the car easliy and quickly. I finish drying with a microfiber buffing cloth and speed shine from griots (great Product). There has been a lot of discussion on this site about leaf blowers, I use it because it cuts down on wiping the car with a dry towel which I feel can scratch the paint. To date I have not seen any ill effects of using the leaf blower

    Windows are always a struggle to get clean. I have tried a lot of different technques and settled on this one. I use one grand glass cleaner and a white paper towel to dry the glass. Then I use a microfiber glass polishing cloth from car care specialists to burnish the glass clear. Take your time and really polish the glass clear or you will still see streaking.

    For interior I normally wipe it down with a damp chaiomis. Don't use cleaners because it will dry out the leather and cause cracking. Every few washes I use Lexol conditioner on the leather. On every wash I use lexol on high use leather parts like the left seat and upright bloster. This keeps the leather supple and prevents cracking on the bloster from getting in and out of the car.

    I recommend One Grand Blitx wax and P21s products for waxing. One grand lasts longer 2-3 months usually but P21 has a better sheen but only lasts about a month in the summer. If the paint needs cleaning use P21s paint cleaner is is very mild and works well on new paint. Also your paint mostly the hood will get debris stuck on it from time to time. If you notice is is bumpy or that when waxing you see pitting and streaking then it is time to use the clay bar. Don't worry this stuff works great and will not stratch your paint if applied right. Just use speed spine from griots to lubricate the paint while you use the clay and when the clay looks dirty manipulate it to get a fresh side of the clay.

    Autopia and car care specialists are two great resources on line for detailing. Cheers!

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    Try here:

    Also regarding blowers, I've added this unit to my arsenal and can't sing it's praises enough:

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    Aww, thanks guys. You're the best!

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    Wow you guys are some serious car washers. I remember the days of grabing a bucket and dishwasher liquid (Joy).

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    bstew said:
    Wow you guys are some serious car washers. I remember the days of grabing a bucket and dishwasher liquid (Joy).

    More damage is done at the washing stage than at any other process. Use two buckets with Grit guards, a lambskin mitt, a good car wash soap, do a final low level rinse, and use micro fiber towels. It is possible not to induce swirl marks.

    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    Several things are important in washing a car. (I know some of this will fly in the face of the hosepipe ban in the UK). First, use the mildest soap that you can use to cut the grease and get the dirt off. Second, use as much water as you possibly can, changing the wash water all the time.


    Re: Car cleaning: your advice greatly appreciated...

    If you go the Zymol route then this link may help you:



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